Carestaff Solutions is a social and healthcare recruitment company that provides temporary and permanent nurses, healthcare assistants, social workers and support workers across the UK.
The company is committed to ensuring that their co-workers are fully compliant with all training requirements and ready to take on work contracts without delay.
On average the company has around 300 people on their books who need regular mandatory training.
Nazma Ahmed, Operations Director at Carestaff Solutions explains how Care Academy has helped their business.
We needed to find a more cost-effective way to stay on top of the new legislation and keep costs down
“Before we started working with Care Academy, our biggest training challenge was keeping up to date with changing legislation and making sure all our staff were fully compliant with the sector regulations. Because of the nature of our work, we need to make sure every person that we place in a client company has all the necessary qualifications and mandatory certificates in place. We need to manage the ongoing training needs of new and existing support staff. We also have to train health care assistants, nurses, managers and team leaders.
As you can imagine, there is a great deal of administration and significant costs to deal with to ensure we really are fully compliant at all times. At this stage, most of our training was classroom based. We realised that we needed to find a more effective way to stay on top of the new legislation, ensure our staff are stilled to meet the demands of their role and keep costs down.
We first met Care Academy around 5 years ago. We made a decision to reduce the amount of face-to-face training and take a serious look at options open to us in the online learning space.
Not all online learning systems are equal
One of the things we quickly discovered was that not all online learning systems are equal. There’s an enormous variation on what you get regarding quality and customer service. Altogether we looked at 8 different systems, but we decided to work with Care Academy.
We could tell right away that the Care Academy team were a good fit for us. They talked about the importance of quality outcomes and it was obvious that they knew the sector inside out. We all felt that their ethos and commitment to quality was in line with our own values.
We started using the Care Academy in 2009, and since then around 4,000 courses have been successfully completed, including fully accredited Level 2 Diplomas.
For us, the best aspect of using Care Academy is the fact that it provides us with a one-stop-shop for all our mandatory training. It’s easy for our people to use; even those with limited IT skills find it straightforward. The help desk is excellent; we’ve had great feedback from users about the quality of assistance they get whenever they need it.
We also know that whatever legislative changes come along, Care Academy will always be bang up to date. In fact, they were well ahead of the curve regarding the Care Certificate, and that meant we were able to be right on top it.
It gives us a competitive edge
The stand-out features as far as we’re concerned are the user friendliness of the Traffic Light system and the fact that it can handle students from diverse backgrounds, educational levels and IT skills. It has proven itself to be very cost-effective, and we now only run three face-to-face mandatory training courses.
All other training needs, including Diploma level courses, are completed through Care Academy and we have used the automated funding forms to claim Workforce Development Funding which has made a valuable contribution towards our overall cost.
Beyond the day-to-day simplicity of using the system and getting our people trained efficiently, we’ve also found that it has helped us win new business. It gives us a competitive advantage because our clients can be confident that our people are fully qualified. Recent reports in the media have shown a clear link between care homes receiving poor CQC ratings and gaps in the training provided to staff. Of the care homes that were told to improve, a lack of training was identified in 71% cases. Areas such as Dementia Care, Safeguarding and Mental Capacity were highlighted as the weakest areas. We’re sending staff into situations where they have to care for highly vulnerable people and so we are able to give our customers total peace of mind that our employees are highly trained – something which is easily evidenced via Care Academy’s on-demand reports.
Also, our staff retention rate has significantly improved. Essentially our people like the fact that we are investing in them and giving them a more structured career and development plan including induction and specialist courses through to fully accredited qualifications.
All in all the experience has been a real winner, and Care Academy is an important part of our business now and in the future.”